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Launch of a Book on ASEAN IP, ‘International Intellectual Property and the ASEAN Way: Pathways to Interoperability’


We are happy to bring to our readers a short blurb on a new book on ASEAN IP, ‘International Intellectual Property and the ASEAN Way: Pathways to Interoperability’, that has been edited by Prof. Elizabeth Siew-Kuan Ng of National University of Singapore and Prof. Graeme Austin of Victoria University of Wellington. The book was launched at the EW Barker Centre for Law and Business at the National University of Singapore on 19th September, 2017.

“ASEAN IP Interoperability” – A New Paradigm for International Intellectual Property?

How can intellectual property relationships between individual nations be strengthened in ASEAN?  This is what Elizabeth Ng Siew-Kuan and Graeme Austin explore in a new book published by Cambridge University Press in September 2017: International Intellectual Property and the ASEAN Way: Pathways to Interoperability.

The Association of South East Asian Nations – comprising Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Darussalam, Vietnam, Lao, Myanmar, Cambodia –  turned 50 in August 2017. IP has emerged one of ASEAN’s key policy platforms.

The “ASEAN Way” emphasizes cooperation and a profound respect for domestic differences and the sovereignty and independence of individual members of this very diverse group of nations.

Originally there was talk in ASEAN of harmonization of IP laws, along the lines of the European Union.  Harmonization is now off the table. Even so, ASEAN wants to encourage co-operation in IP relations – and, in recent years, has advanced some important new strategies to advance that agenda.

The book examines a new paradigm for international intellectual property relations: IP interoperability. The interoperability theme captures a determination to cooperate in different contexts – administrative, legislative and judicial, as well as IP rights enforcement – while maintaining the respect for national differences that characterizes the ASEAN Way.

Professors Ng and Austin co-convened two forums at the National University of Singapore which brought together practising lawyers, leading scholars, and government officials from different ASEAN nations to explore ways of advancing IP relationships.

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